Print 16 comment(s) - last by just4U.. on Nov 14 at 6:13 PM

AMD hopes to compete on performance as well as price

AMD has been under a lot of performance pressure from Intel over the last couple of years. In order to compete, it has had to focus on bringing multiple core CPUs to the market at a lower price than Intel.

The world's biggest semiconductor company is poised to launch its first Westmere products fairly soon, which integrate 32nm dual core CPUs with 45nm graphics chips on the same package. Intel has traditional been very strong with its CPUs, but weak on the integrated graphics side. AMD, on the other hand, has been able to provide above average graphics performance on its integrated graphics chipsets, at lower prices than Intel-based motherboards.

In order to compete, AMD is going to introduce the RS880P northbridge with faster integrated DirectX 10.1 graphics for the mainstream market early in 2010. Enthusiasts can look forward to the RD890 northbridge, which will use less energy and produce less heat than its predecessor.

AMD will also be introducing the SB800 series of southbridges at the same time, which will integrate a gigabit ethernet port. AMD has missed an opportunity to surpass Intel by integrating USB 3.0 and 6Gb/s SATA ports, but the new southbridges will have more bandwidth. This will make it easier and cheaper for motherboard manufacturers to add USB 3.0 and 6 Gb/s SATA ports themselves without having to resort to bridge chips.

Sources have indicated that there will be motherboards using the new chipsets shown at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas during the first week of January.

Intel will be introducing a 32nm six-core Westmere-based CPU codenamed Gulftown in Q2 of 2010. AMD plans to respond with Thuban, which features six-cores of its own based on those used by the  Phenom II family.

Things get interesting in 2011. AMD's Lynx platform will feature the Llano Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), which integrates up to four 32nm Phenom II cores with a 32nm DirectX 11 graphics chip on the same die.

The Scorius platform will use Zambezi CPUs using four or eight 32nm cores built using the new Bulldozer architecture. It will also be capable of support new 32nm Radeon GPUs.
Both the Scorpius and Lynx platforms will require new chipsets and socket in order to deliver on the promise of higher performance.

The K10 architecture had a few teething problems when it was first introduced by AMD in 2007. It has since proved its usefulness, but Intel has been successful with its Nehalem-based CPUs, dramatically leading the performance race since it was introduced. Bulldozer will be the first new architecture for AMD since the K10, and the company hopes that it will enable it to compete on performance as well as price. It was originally supposed to be introduced this year, but AMD has had to overcome multiple financial, design, and production hurdles over the last few years.

Bulldozer cores will be built on a future 32nm SOI (Silicon-On-Insulator) high-K metal gate process. They will come in desktop and server iterations and feature new instruction set architecture extensions.

Llano and Bulldozer will start sampling with some of AMD's partners late in 2010, right about the time Intel will introduce its new Sandy Bridge architecture. Even worse for AMD, it will start to introduce products based on the Bulldozer architecture in 2011, just as Intel's production of new Sandy Bridge ramps up dramatically at the massive Fab 32 and Fab 11X.

Intel is currently undergoing research and develop of new CPUs using 22nm technology, and is set to introduce 22nm parts based on the Ivy Bridge architecture at the end of 2011.

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If this is another Athlon
By dark matter on 11/12/2009 2:05:21 PM , Rating: 2
I will be jumping ship. I guess the billion dollars from Intel should help with the R&D.

I like competition. I used to have AMD. I have no loyalty.

RE: If this is another Athlon
By amanojaku on 11/12/2009 2:14:06 PM , Rating: 3
I'm an AMD fan and I don't see an Athlon for at least two years. The price/performance ratio of an AMD CPU is very good, but the raw performance just isn't there. The best I can hope for in the near future is AMD running neck-and-neck. Blowing Intel out of the water like the Athlon did is unlikely unless Intel is lazy like with the PIII/P4. And Intel has been anything but lazy these days.

RE: If this is another Athlon
By dark matter on 11/12/2009 2:16:36 PM , Rating: 2
True, they haven't. But I wonder if they took the pedal off the gas a little knowing AMD were on the ropes. Unfortunatley for Intel they have been stung pretty hard recently by court cases.

RE: If this is another Athlon
By JonnyDough on 11/13/2009 11:51:05 AM , Rating: 2
Until the GPUs really catch up to the CPUs I'm not sure any of it matters. Most people are buying the best performance/value, not best performance. A six core CPU regardless of which camp it comes from should be able to run most next generation games without much effort.

RE: If this is another Athlon
By Ammohunt on 11/12/2009 3:03:50 PM , Rating: 2
I love AMD they keep intel competitive and producing better CPU's. I own a few AMD cpu's for secondary non-critical tasks around the house but my main machine will always be intel.

RE: If this is another Athlon
By dark matter on 11/13/2009 3:44:43 AM , Rating: 2
Really? Even if the Intel chip runs hotter and is not as powerful as its AMD equivalent? (As in the Athlon / Pentium)

RE: If this is another Athlon
By BushStar on 11/13/2009 5:00:31 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe I'm missing the sarcasm, I can only presume so as I've not seen an Athlon or Pentium in a long time. Try comparing the heat of a Phenom vs Core 2 Duo or any of the newer AMD and Intel CPUs.

I run a Phenom 9950 which is a 140W CPU, using the heatsink and fan supplied and some decent thermal paste it ran at 100C, that is it booted, crashed, I went into the BIOS and checked the heat and then ordered an enthusiast new heatsink and fan. £200 later after buying a larger case to accommodate the heatsink I am now running at 55C.

I should have jumped ship already, I was building mid range Intel based computers at the time that were out performing mine. Fool on me...

RE: If this is another Athlon
By weskurtz0081 on 11/13/2009 8:55:29 AM , Rating: 3
I think if you read those comments, maybe even carefully, you will notice that the guy is responding to the guy above him that said "I will ALWAYS" use Intel.

Then, the response was, "Even if" blah blah blah. He didn't say anything about the current CPU's, he was asking if he would still use Intel even if AMD takes the performance crown back etc.

RE: If this is another Athlon
By just4U on 11/14/2009 6:13:23 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't fault AMD on that as I've never seen one of those original Phenoms go over 55C (under load) with typical temperatures in the 38-45C range. That's using their stock thermal solutions as well.

RE: If this is another Athlon
By Motoman on 11/12/2009 5:24:59 PM , Rating: 2
I have anti-loyalty for Intel because of their anticompetitive actions over the past 15 years or so.

But having said that, I don't think that AMD sees one red cent of any of the penalty(-ies) levied against Intel due to those anticompetitive actions. I think they'd have to file civil suits after the criminal suits to actually get any $ themselves. The existing stuff all goes to the gubermint.

RE: If this is another Athlon
By RjBass on 11/12/2009 8:59:26 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously? I think you missed the news.

RE: If this is another Athlon
By Motoman on 11/13/2009 9:57:10 AM , Rating: 2
My mistake. I missed that one of the lawsuits in play actually had Intel pay directly to AMD.

RE: If this is another Athlon
By mindless1 on 11/13/2009 3:29:53 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously, once you pay the legal fees associated with the ongoing disputes, all you're left with is the loss in sales AMD saw over that period.

RE: If this is another Athlon
By hyvonen on 11/12/09, Rating: 0
By BushStar on 11/13/2009 4:50:56 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Fusion
By weskurtz0081 on 11/13/2009 8:58:07 AM , Rating: 2
I think, in the article, it actually spoke of Fusion didn't it? It mentioned,

Things get interesting in 2011. AMD's Lynx platform will feature the Llano Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), which integrates up to four 32nm Phenom II cores with a 32nm DirectX 11 graphics chip on the same die.

That sounds like Fusion to me, they just didn't use the marketing word, maybe that's what confused you.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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